What’s in Season? Porcelain Berry

This month, we’re kicking off What’s in Season?, a new column on Chatty Brides that will feature regional floral designers and their favorite flower of the moment, with someone who certainly knows a thing or two about plants!  

Patrice Milley of Patrice R. Milley Foral Designs started working in flower shops in high school, went on to earn a BA in Botany from Connecticut College and has been working in the special events side of floral design since 1990.

She completely bowled us over when, at a recent shoot for Southern New England Weddings, she showed up with a lovely sea-blue bouquet dotted with bright turquoise berries. Porcelain Berries, Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, aren’t native to Cape Cod, but do grow wild here and in September and October, they bear fruits that start in shades of pale lilac, blue and green, and mature into turquise, deep blue and purple.  They can’t be purchased at flower markets, but Patrice keeps a small space in her yard for them and makes sure the plants don’t spread.

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“I love them for the mix of colors found in one spray, and because they are one of the only naturally occurring turquoise plant materials. I think they look so pretty added to white roses and hydrangeas,” says Patrice.

The berries would add a perfectly unexpected pop of color to a fall wedding and work well in indoor spaces, but Patrice cautions that because a few errant berries can spread the plant to unwanted places, they shouldn’t be used in venues like nature preserves or botanical gardens.

Patrice R. Milley Floral Designs is based in Chatham, MA and is available for weddings on Cape Cod and the surrounding area.  Contact Patrice at prmilley@comcast.net or call 508-945-4173.

Photo Credit: Caroline Goddard

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